Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and interesting travel news stories.

Breaking travel news for travellers.

Clash of the titans: this week the Justice Department withdrew its lawsuit against the proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines. In return for letting the union move forward, thereby creating the world’s largest airline, the carriers will both give up 57 slots at Ronald Reagan International Airport in Washington DC, and 34 slots each at New York City's LaGuardia Airport, among others. Low-cost carriers, such as JetBlue and Southwest, will be assigned the free spots.[BBC]

If you've ever thought that European carriers use bigger planes on transatlantic flights than their American counterparts, you were on to something. US carriers prefer the smaller Boeing 757s for two reasons: it enables them to manage fares more tightly, and they generally have multiple hubs to feed. European carriers also have an easier time selling first and business class seats, so need to ensure they have enough of those pricier tickets available. [Businessweek]

In-flight entertainment
Photos and videos that went viral on the Web this week

The new Museum of African Design in Johannesburg, South Africa, claims to be the first of its kind in the continent. CNN has a slideshow of some of the standout works on display in the former factory. [CNN]

Photographer Xavi Menós usually captures fashion shows and catwalks, but last year he headed to Kenya’s Maasai Mara  where he photographed the work and lives of some 1,600 Maasai women employed as part of a fair trade project. Proceeds from the intricately beaded sandals made by these women will fund building local schools, health centres and other worthy causes. [One.org]

The beautifully peculiar Afghan Box Camera has been used in Afghanistan for more than a century as the go-to method for portraits, IDs and other everyday photography needs – although the Taliban did their best to stop its use. However, in the face of superior technology, its days appear to be numbered. Now is the perfect time catch up with what it can do in this slideshow and video. [Wired]

Hold on folks, we’re in for a rocky ride

Score one for bureaucracy — or at least Nordic prudence. Boverket, Sweden's national authority for housing, has told the owners of the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi that they must start installing fire alarms – despite the fact that the structures, which are rebuilt annually, only last until they melt. Still, the agency may have a point. As an Ice Hotel spokesperson put it, "There are indeed things that can catch fire, like the reindeer skins, the mattresses and the pillows." [The Local]

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